12 New Years Travel Resolutions Worth Making (And Keeping)

Sure, getting more sleep and eating healthy are important goals, but what about the fun stuff?

The New Year offers a fresh start, reinvigorated hope, and a pending years’ worth of possibilities all waiting to be seized. So when you’re making those annual resolutions once again, why not add some travel-related to-dos? With the right changes to your travel routine, these resolutions will be just as good for you as remembering to floss.

Look at where you’re at, where you’d like to go, and where you’ve been already. What do you feel you’ve missed out on when it comes to your past travels? Do you want to travel more often? Well, now’s your chance to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do and better yourself along the way.

Travel Alone

woman backpacking looking out at a moment

If you usually travel with friends, fam, or in a group, make 2022 the year you take a solo trip. It can be incredibly liberating. Not to mention, there’s no travel companion for you quite like you. You just need to spend some time with yourself somewhere you’ve never been.

Whether it’s a day trip, a weekend away, or an overseas excursion, take yourself on a trip to remember. While traveling solo, you’ll be pushed to meet new people, rely on yourself, explore whatever you want, whenever you want, and learn the kinds of things about yourself you can only do when dropped into a foreign situation.

Learn a New Language

map with books with different languages on it

One of the most motivating ways to prepare for a trip is to start learning the local language. If this is something you’ve been thinking about, do yourself a favor and check out free apps like Duolingo. It’s designed with your globetrotting and local mingling in mind.

Knowing the native tongue comes in handy when you need to ask for directions, find the restroom, or say hello. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to build on the basics by mixing in with the locals and not just learning the words, but witnessing how they’re most commonly used. Immersing yourself in the place a language you’re learning is spoken is always the best way to do it.

Start Saving Now

paper plane made of money on map

No matter where you go or when you’re going, travel is rarely a cheap hobby. So if you’re going to stick to your travel resolutions and check off that bolder-than-ever bucket list, it’s time to start saving. Realistically, this will mean cutting down on your day-to-day spending.

Whether you need to go out a little less or cancel a subscription here and there, it’ll prove worth the sacrifice when you’re having a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a place you always dreamed of going.

Explore Your Surroundings

guy hiking alone in the mountains with a backpack

While we’re dreaming about the greener grass somewhere far far away, it’s easy to forget that there’s so much to explore where we stand. Sometimes, there’s no trip more satisfying than discovering (or rediscovering) your own surroundings. The more you make it a point to traverse familiar terrain with fresh eyes, the more you’ll find a newfound appreciation for the place you call home. And I’m not just talking about your town.

Branch out to the surrounding region and see where the wind takes you. Detour to towns you’ve never heard of or states in your country you’ve yet to go. It might be a great time to reconnect with nearby friends who you might otherwise never visit. And there’s something about fully appreciating the place you’re in that makes those far away places that much more enjoyable.

Keep a Travel Journal

"let's do it!" written in a journal

Perhaps you’ve already done some traveling, but have you started keeping a travel journal? I highly recommend you do from now on. Journaling while you’re traveling is a really great way to reflect on all the people, places, and occurrences you never want to forget.

At the end of the year, reflect on your travel entries. You’ll be surprised how little details you jotted down can trigger special memories you totally forgot about. My guess is you’ll also be instantly inspired to start traveling again ASAP.

Strive To Be a More Eco-Conscious Traveler

two girls picking up trash on the beach

To fully appreciate the world we’re exploring, we should all do a little better to take care of it however and wherever we can. This year, let’s make a pact to remove our carbon footprint as much as possible on the go, traveling consciously with the sake of the earth’s future in mind.

Some easy ways to do this include using public transport (which is also a great way to save money and do as the locals do), opting for eco-friendly accommodations when possible, bringing a reusable water bottle with you, and if you see some litter on the beach, pick it up! It may not be your hometown, but it’s still your home planet.

Give Back While You Globe Trot

male volunteer reading to group of preschool children

Generally, travel is for leisure, but why not have a uniquely fulfilling experience while you’re busy enjoying yourself? For this year’s resolutions, challenge yourself to give back while you’re traveling. Do-gooding “just because” can be extremely rewarding, especially in a place where you’re a stranger.

Maybe you’ll volunteer at a local event, work the morning shift in a soup kitchen, or read to preschoolers at an after-school program. Regardless of how you choose to make a difference, you’ll also walk away with a more profound understanding of the place you’re visiting and the heart of its people. And for a moment, you’ll become a part of where you visit.

Live In the Moment

woman with her arms spread out in the sandy dunes in Spain

It’s way too easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and go through the mundane motions without pause. Traveling or not, it’s important to stop and pay attention to the moment we’re in. Right now. And a little resolution reminder couldn’t hurt.

This time around, commit to being present in your journeys and fully embracing each experience with gusto. Traveling is a great time to reconnect with yourself, put the phone away, and breathe a full and much-needed breath. So get out there and breathe in this moment.

Don’t Hesitate

two people jumping off rock into water surrounded by mountains

Try to put saying “yes” at the top of your resolutions as well. When you get to where you’re going, go with the flow and don’t waste too much time mulling over your options. This relates to living in the moment, obviously, but it’s more about setting an intention and maintaining momentum. In other words, go all in more often than not without hesitation. As they say, you’re more likely to regret the things you don’t do.

Make the Most of Your Days Off

couple having fun while riding in convertible next to lake

While nothing beats a relaxing day at home, don’t do the same old thing every weekend or Labor Day. It’ll get stale. Plus, you’ll likely look back and feel you wasted more time than you ever intended to. So get out of the house more often than not and make this next year as full as can be.

Even if it’s just a day trip, make a plan and hit the road. You don’t need to travel far, but you do need to be smart about time spent. The better you time these weekend getaways, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the trip rather than worrying about when you need to be back.

Take That “Someday” Trip ASAP

two people picking travel places on a map

We all have that magical place we just have to go before we die. However, we only have the life that’s right in front of us right now. And it’s much easier to have an idea for a trip than to put it into action. So instead of being a well of wishes, make this the year you go.

It’s time to quit fantasizing about the crystally lagoons of Fiji or the snowy Alps in winter. Turn your travel dreams into a reality by making it your resolution to do so. There’s no time like the present, after all. And again, be sure you’re saving money to make the big trips happen.

Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone

guy eating scorpion in Bangkok while traveling

While it might sound strange, it’s easy to get into a travel rut. If we like a place, we are happy to go back again, and again, and again. It’ll be worth the time and money because we know we like it, we say. But out with the old and in with the new travel itineraries. Set yourself goals to do things you’ve never done, go places you’ve never been, and try things you never dreamed you’d try. Which reminds me, don’t miss out on the local flavor.

Every time you could have a standard breakfast at the hotel, make it your mission to find local restaurants, fruit stands, and bodegas instead. Your trip should never become something you could do anywhere else. Or worse, at home. Be exactly where you are. Sleep on an airbus hostel in London or take a Goju-Ryu class in Okinawa. The point being: if it feels out of your element, it’s exactly what you should give a try.

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